Friction over baggage handling system threatens progress at KCI

Bill Grady
November 16, 2018 - 7:51 am

The latest speed bump for the new terminal project at Kansas City International Airport focuses on luggage.

Executives at smaller airlines are concerned about how much they will have to kick in to support the terminal's $20-million baggage handling system.

This is not the city's fight, but Mayor Sly James is not happy about the rift.

"I'm concerned that their internal squabble is interfering with our project," James said. "I'd like to see them resolve it and let's get on with it."

City aviation director Patrick Klein stopped short of saying a failure to communicate could lead to further postponements.

"These artificial time frames, trying to get done by a particular date, affect the negotiations," Klein said.

It was not clear at a meeting of the City Council on Thursday whether the disagreement would lead to further delays in design and construction. James and City Manager Troy Schulte want to hold face-to-face meetings with airline representatives. Those meetings were not scheduled as of Thursday.

"It took six years to get to this point, and I'm not going to see it fall apart now because different agendas that are not in the best interest of this city are being pushed," James said.  

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